Subway bread is not bread, says Irish court

Innula Zenovka

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The bread’s sugar content – five times the qualifying limit under the act – means that it falls outside of the legal definition of a staple food. The ruling included white and wholegrain bread. The definition serves to differentiate bread from other baked goods.

“The argument depends on the acceptance of the prior contention that the Subway heated sandwich contains ‘bread’ as defined, and therefore can be said to be food for the purposes of the Second Schedule rather than confectionary. Since that argument has been rejected, this subsidiary argument must fail,” the court ruled. The appeal was dismissed.
 

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Khamon

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C A K E
 
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Because 50 years ago poor people couldn't afford cake.
 

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I mean, I've had Subway sandwiches before and it sure tasted like bread to me...
 
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Dakota Tebaldi

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It took a court decision to figure that out?
Well, Subway really brought it on themselves this time. It's hard for me to understand completely because I don't know all the ins and outs of VAT over in Europe and what it applies to and what it doesn't; but what I've gotten from the article is that Subway went to court to try to argue that technically customers shouldn't have to pay tax on its sandwiches because they're mostly bread and bread is technically a staple food, which I guess is supposed to be exempt? But then the Irish court was like "oh yeah well technically it's not even bread because Irish law for some reason says that bread technically can't have more sugar by weight in it than 2% of the total volume of flour, so sorry you lose pay up."

Evidently that 2% was codified into Irish law to stop like cake and confectionery-makers from trying to argue that their stuff was "bread" and so should be exempt from tax. To be brutally honest, the amount of sugar in Subway's bread isn't even remotely enough to put it at "confectionery" level so the ruling is definitely just silly but hey, one good "technically" deserves another.
 
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To be brutally honest, the amount of sugar in Subway's bread isn't even remotely enough to put it at "confectionery" level so the ruling is definitely just silly but hey, one good "technically" deserves another.
While one may argue the legislation may be silly, it appears the ruling is not. Seems very cut and dried (but I'll leave our legal expert to verify that)
As for using sugar in their bread, I doubt it's just to speed up leavening.
 

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Oh yeah I'm sure the ruling is sound. I'm just saying - like, independently of the Subway thing, 2% is a preposterously low bar. Like, if that standard were very widely applied it would turn a whole lot of traditional breads into "not bread anymore". Amish bread couldn't be called bread by that measure.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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First world problems.

Maybe they can call it a meat cake from now on and charge €0.50 extra, because of the use of more luxury ingredients.
That's not the point. The point is that Subway always advertised themselves as some type of "healty fast food alternative" compared to Burger King and McDonald's, using only fresh ingredients. They even once had an ad campaign showing a man who has claimed to have lost 100 kg of weight just with eating Subway food.

Replacing flour with sugar is a cost saving procedure. Because sugar has a higher energy density it also means that you are digesting more energy than compared to a normal bread. That's the point: you are getting sub standard food for a normal price tag.
 
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Oh yeah I'm sure the ruling is sound. I'm just saying - like, independently of the Subway thing, 2% is a preposterously low bar. Like, if that standard were very widely applied it would turn a whole lot of traditional breads into "not bread anymore". Amish bread couldn't be called bread by that measure.
Good! There is way too much sugar in food anyway. Enriched baked goods that contain additional sugar, eggs and other ingredients shouldn't be known as bread. Brioche buns are not bread! They're bakery goods!
 

Innula Zenovka

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I once got my 13-year-old a foot-long Subway chicken and bacon ranch melt with all kinds of bespoke gunk in it that, I later worked out, contained more than 1,300 calories. It’s an awesome amount of energy. It wasn’t even his dinner; it was a snack. I don’t blame him, I don’t even blame Subway. I blame myself, but on the other hand, it was fascinating to watch, like a python swallowing a sheep. I believe I said at the time that it was like being on safari, and he said: “If you mean you staring at me while I look at my phone, then, yes, exactly like that.”

What I want to say is that this is what late capitalism looks like when it has reached the end of its rope: corporations giving us so much of what we want that our sandwiches are made of cake, and eating a 12in cake packed with meat will render us unwell and economically unproductive, and then we’ll take to the streets shouting: “We just can’t afford any more cake!”, and the classic politician of the neoliberal death spiral, some modern-day Marie Antoinette (it’s probably Priti Patel), will hear our cries and say: “Let them eat bread,” and after that there will be a revolution.
 

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When you didn't grow up on it, a lot of American foodstuffs taste Bizarro World sweet.
or salty. Most of our fast food and chain restaurants serve product-shaped salt licks with a bit of flavoring added. Many of our prepackaged foods are also heavily laden with either refined sugar or salt or both. It's a wonder we survived long enough to learn to start cooking and stop eating all that stuff.